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Recognizable people in street photos (legalities)


A_Harrison 10 260 Canada
22 Jan 2007 6:46PM
I am having a showing of some of my photos in the fall and was wondering if pictures I have taken of people at:

Carnivals:

Parades:

Sporting events

And just street candids in general.

Do I need permission from these people to show there likeness in public or to sell prints.

I live in Canada so keep that in mind.

Thanks a bunch...........Allan

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Duncan_E 7 201 3 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2007 4:46PM
The law on this varies from country to country. In the UK you would be allowed to, but in the States/Canada i'm not so sure because... Both Alamy and iStockPhoto, stock photo agencies who operate in the US/Canada, will not accept images with anyone in them who is personally identifiable unless you have a singed model release form for each person. That essentially makes events, fairs, candids etc, totally impossible.
Krakman 8 3.6k Scotland
25 Jan 2007 5:10PM

Quote:Both Alamy and iStockPhoto, stock photo agencies who operate in the US/Canada, will not accept images with anyone in them who is personally identifiable

Not quite right! I don't know about iStockPhoto, but Alamy certainly accept images of identifiable people without model releases without any problem.
Krakman 8 3.6k Scotland
25 Jan 2007 5:15PM
samfurlong 8 2.5k United Kingdom
25 Jan 2007 5:27PM
In the UK you are fine, other countries I am not so sure about - france is a pain in the ass with their new privacy laws.
Duncan_E 7 201 3 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2007 5:39PM
That's interesting, I could have sworn when i was originally applying to join Alamy a while back that they insisted all the images i had were model-released. iStockPhoto are American based and their sample model-release form is far more full of legal jargon, to the extent that they originally rejected pictures that had a model release that Alamy had said was fine for them. Bottom line is, UK, you're fine, US/Canada, you aren't.
Krakman 8 3.6k Scotland
25 Jan 2007 5:48PM
I think that iStockPhoto are mainly a royalty free agency, which is probably why they require the releases. Alamy require the releases for royalty-free images, but not rights managed (see the link).

Canadian law is usually similar to UK law on most things in life (after all, their ultimate appeal court is the House of Lords aka the Privy Council in London)!

In the US, they tend to be more fussy about releases generally because of paranoia about being sued - so they often require property releases for buildings for example. But you'll probably find that their basic principles are similar to UK law, but they're just a bit more careful.
keith selmes 11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2007 7:20PM
Quebec has privacy laws all its own.
Krakman 8 3.6k Scotland
25 Jan 2007 7:30PM
Zey are French after all!!!
A_Harrison 10 260 Canada
4 Feb 2007 2:10AM
Thanks everyone.

What if they are in or a part of the event ie parade.

Allan
Kerrygold 9 63 Ireland
4 Feb 2007 2:28AM
Allan,

Paranoia seems to have set in. In most countries when you step
into the public arena, except in "protected areas" you are fair game for photos legally. Im sure Canada is quite similar.

Are any of these folks likely to see the exhibits or do you know some of these people?. If so, get permission, or not, and the rest will never know the difference probably.
Krakman 8 3.6k Scotland
4 Feb 2007 8:39AM

Quote:What if they are in or a part of the event ie parade.

Permission shouldn't be needed - unless you want to present the image pretending that the parade is a Fascist demonstration, or that the people in the image are psychopathic lunatics, in which case get their consent beforehand to stop them suing you for damaging their reputation.
keithh e2
10 23.2k 33 Wallis And Futuna
4 Feb 2007 9:00AM
I'd say that the answer to the original question is 'No' but reading Alamy's own guidelines, they say that any person easily identifiable in a crowd scene needs a model release.
keith selmes 11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2007 9:48AM
If you are just showing and selling as art, and not misrepresenting anyone, you are probably OK.
BUT canada is not the USA and not the UK, and the law is different, it even differs between the provinces and territories within Canada. Quebec is dodgy.
I don't think the situation in Canada is as clear as it is in the US or UK.

Some references

Thread privacy in canada.

Piece about legal stuff
From which:
The Supreme Court of Canada recently upheld a Quebec civil damage award in Aubrey v. Edition Vice-Versa Inc. The magazine had published a photograph of the 17-year-old claimant sitting on the steps of a building in Montreal. The photograph was taken from a public place and did not injure the Plaintiff’s reputation, but was published without her permission.

(That was actually several years ago)

Academic paper from Toronto on privacy/surveillance etc. as a pdf

(Edited, had a couple of links transposed)
keithh e2
10 23.2k 33 Wallis And Futuna
4 Feb 2007 10:07AM
Precedents in the Aubrey case only apply to Quebec and eventhey allow crowd scenes to be published. Although a friend of mine over there tells me that the case spawned a minor claim culture.

You can read the whole Aubry v Editions Vica Versa case here.

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